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National Arts Festival opens registration for 2023 Fringe

The National Arts Festival has opened the call for the 2023 Fringe Festival.
Image by Mark Wessels: Dance production Savour was on the 2022 National Arts Festival Fringe
Image by Mark Wessels: Dance production Savour was on the 2022 National Arts Festival Fringe

The National Arts Festival Fringe plays a vital role in the arts ecosystem, creating a platform for emerging artists to present multi-disciplinary work at a festival but also for established artists to experiment, launch new work and collaborate with other artists. Artists who bring work to the Festival do so at their own financial risk but earn income from ticket sales (85% of ticket sales go to the production).

The Fringe also offers opportunities for artists across the country, and the world, to present their work to other artists, local and international producers and audiences. Shows on the Fringe stand a chance of receiving a Standard Bank Ovation Award, which recognises works that are critically engaging and appealing to audiences. Many shows that win Standard Bank Ovation Awards go on to travel the South African and international theatre and festival circuits.

Fringe manager, Zikhona Monaheng, says, “Artists wishing to sign up for this year’s Fringe should read the National Arts Festival Fringe Guide which contains comprehensive details about participating in the Festival. There is a registration fee of R1,000 which will be required once the application is approved. Applications are approved on the basis of availability and suitability of venues.”

Works ranging from theatre and public art performances to dance, music, film, comedy, illusion, poetry, visual art and more are all accommodated on the Fringe programme, Fringe children’s theatre is also a drawcard for families visiting the Festival. The Festival programme is multi-lingual so works in any language can be submitted.

Despite the National Arts Festival’s return to a live Festival format, online or digital works are also welcome on the Fringe. The fee to participate on the vFringe (online platform) is R200 and ticket sales are managed through the NAF’s secure online ticketing gate.

Image by Elejha-ze Gengan: Sophie Joans in Ile, which won a Gold Standard Bank Ovation Award at the 2022 National Arts Festival
Image by Elejha-ze Gengan: Sophie Joans in Ile, which won a Gold Standard Bank Ovation Award at the 2022 National Arts Festival

The Festival is also currently calling for works for the Curated Programme. These submissions are considered by the Festival's Artistic Committee, led by NAF's artistic director, Rucera Seethal, and works are then selected that will be programmed by the Festival. Artists may propose a work for the Curated Programme and also apply to be on the Fringe. The call for the Curated Programme closes at midnight on 22 November 2022.

Entries will close at midnight on 13 January 2023. The 49th National Arts Festival will take place on 22 June-2 July 2023 in Makhanda in the Eastern Cape.

Click here to apply to be on the Fringe, and here to propose a work for the Curated Programme.

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